Seven new ticket gates, an open-plan ticket area, enlarged waiting room, café and toilets are now in use as part of a remodelling of the station to provide an enhanced customer experience.
Great Western Railway is working with West Berkshire Council, Berkshire LEP and Network Rail to deliver the improvements, designed to help support the town’s economic development.
GWR business development portfolio director, Tom Pierpoint, said: “It’s fantastic to see the north side of the station is now in full use, with customers able to take advantage of a much more welcoming waiting room and café.
“Newbury station has been truly transformed over the past 12 months and it has been a privilege to work with our partners to deliver these changes which are so important to the local economy and communities we serve.”
This started with the installation of a lift at the station and last year saw the opening of two new cycle hubs adding 300 cycle spaces; and a new 160-space multi-storey car park with electric car charging points and improved walking routes to the town centre.
Work is also progressing at pace on the south side of the station with the creation of three new business growth units, and improved pedestrian and bus access.
Partners gathered at the station yesterday (Wednesday 23 November) to mark the completion of this important milestone.
West Berkshire Council’s Executive Member for Planning, Transport and Countryside, Cllr Richard Somner, said: “This is a great project for the district. With positive partnership working we can now begin to see the progress made over the last year or so to make Newbury station bigger and better equipped for passengers.
“The station improvement supports several of the council’s key priorities from an economic and environmental point of view and once the final stages are completed by next year, the station will prove to be a valuable asset to help West Berkshire continue being a great place to live, work, and visit.”
Berkshire LEP Chief Executive, Alison Webster, said: “It’s been a real pleasure to be here for this milestone event for the new station building at Newbury station. This redevelopment will not only encourage sustainable travel by creating a high-quality sustainable transport hub but will also create a superb gateway to Newbury town centre.
“It builds on the improvements achieved by the electrification of the line and the installation of passenger lifts, helping to modernise this important part of the network. I look forward to the opening of the new business units that are under way, which will present a new vibrant space opportunity for some of our growing businesses.”
Network Rail sponsor, Sandra Jerome, said: “It’s great to see the first stage of the Newbury station redevelopment come to fruition on the north side, with passengers benefitting from a much-improved travelling experience through upgraded facilities.
“As the landowner of the site, we’ve worked closely with GWR, West Berkshire Council and the Berkshire LEP to integrate a number of projects at the station including the new cycle hub, multi storey car park and three business growth units that are currently being built on the south side and will support the local economy.
“We look forward to continuing our work with these partners to transform Newbury station, placing sustainable travel at the heart of the town and ensuing passengers will benefit from these improvements for years to come.”
Newbury MP, Laura Farris, said: “I am so pleased to see such radical improvements to the station at Newbury and to the surrounding area with the Market Street redevelopment. It has been a pleasure to watch the scheme develop and, particularly, to see a station that will much better serve the needs of Newbury’s population and those using the railway with the addition of the multi-storey car park and bike storage facilities.”
Railway Heritage Trust Executive Director, Tim Hedley-Jones, said: “The Railway Heritage Trust is really pleased to see that the refurbishment of 1847-built Newbury station has been done with consideration to its historic fabric.
“We have awarded a grant of £55,000 to focus on the restoration of windows and careful creation of door openings, to aid the passenger experience within the station. The paint scheme has been carried out in a tasteful and consistent way throughout. We look forward to working with GWR on other heritage schemes at the station.”
The station redevelopment is expected to be fully completed next spring.